December 2nd, 2009
05:32 PM ET
6 months ago

Obama takes heat from Democrats over jobs

Rep. Bobby Rush, co-chair of the new Congressional 'Jobs Now Caucus'.
Rep. Bobby Rush, co-chair of the new Congressional 'Jobs Now Caucus'.

(CNN) – Members of President Obama's own political party are charging that the White House and the Democratic Congressional leadership are not doing enough to help the unemployed and are threatening to organize a march on Washington of jobless Americans.

"Obviously there's something that's not getting through to them," said Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Illinois. "And we're going to let the White House and everybody who's concerned know that we have got people in our districts who are depending on us to deliver for them."

Rush and Reps. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, and Candice Miller, R-Michigan, chair the new Congressional "Jobs Now Caucus," which is comprised of 112 Democrats and 17 Republicans.

Rush and Kaptur argue that a new jobs program is more important than health care reform, but stop short of threatening to hold up a vote on one of Obama's most important domestic policy initiatives.

"We're not there yet," Kaptur said.

Some of the proposals being floated by the caucus include: redirecting existing stimulus and TARP money to jobs programs and pressing for a new jobs bill, which they're careful not to call a "stimulus."

More than one member of the caucus told CNN the stimulus was crafted without enough input from lawmakers whose districts suffer from the highest jobless rates.

"I have been very disappointed in the incomplete manner in which the jobs and the economic recession has been dealt with," said Kaptur, who added, "We don't want to be given short shrift."

Rush was more blunt in his demand. "We don't want to be handed a bill and told, 'Alright vote this bill,'" Rush said. "We want to be part of the creation."

The frustration by some Democrats comes as the White House prepares to hold a jobs summit Thursday, which will include CEOs and small business owners among others. And on Wednesday, members of the Congressional Black Caucus sat out a vote on financial reform legislation - important to the White House - to protest what they said is a lack of attention paid to job growth in the African American community. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the new "Jobs Now Caucus" have accused the administration of listening more closely to Wall Street than to Main Street.

The U.S. unemployment rate is at 10.2% but many congressmen believe the true rate is closer to 20% if you include those who have given up looking for work.

Update, 5:32 p.m.:Nadeam Elshami, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, issued this statement:

"We continue to work with all members of the caucus and with the Administration to build on the recovery package and other initiatives to help create jobs and grow our economy after years of mismanagement by the Bush administration."

soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. victim of the false prophet OBAMA

    even Democraps are picking on the community organizer now. lovely.

    December 2, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. howie

    The White House says the stimilus has provided more than a million jobs, what is the problem?????

    December 2, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. Beverly in NC

    This is the reason we do not need escalation in Afghanistan. It takes focus off critical domestic issues like healthcare passage and jobs creation.

    We know where the largest problem areas are in Afghanistan and most are on the Afghan-Pakistan border. Why not bomb the border into oblivion, taking out the remaining Al Qaeda camps just on the Pakistan side? We achieve our objective quickly and do not fight a ground war on impossible terrain.

    We can then bring all the soldiers home from the failed and fraudulent Bush wars and invest and focus on Americans.

    December 2, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. charlie in Maine

    that's what the job summit is for. This guy listens. Complain if you want but before you go too far think about where Pesident McMain and his choice for VP would have us at this point.

    December 2, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. mjm

    Or they could just realize that the government does not create jobs.

    Stop spending trillions on stupid stuff.

    December 2, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Keepin It Real

    Why are the Dems acting like the repubs? Whatever business you have with the President keep it within your own circle.

    Don't be a Sara Palin and split the party.

    December 2, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. John D.

    Now all of a sudden these idiots are playing nice. they have destroyed this country with their spending and now they want us to believe they are for jobs. What a joke. Vote no to Healthcare Reform , then vote no to Cap and Trade. Then come back and talk to us about jobs!

    December 2, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. Jeannie Niles

    Washington has to realize there is a major disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street. Unemployment is at an all high, people are losing their homes because of lack of job or a health crisis and we continue to spend money fighting a war we will never win.

    President Obama.....please remember the hardworking people who voted for you and need your help NOW.

    December 2, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. Gary in Oklahoma

    Dear Leader, I have a small business. Please send me my stimulus money.

    December 2, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  10. W. Sexton

    The first step for Congress should be fixing the "glitch" caused when they extended benefits for the unemployed , but left the Dec. 31 deadline...leaving more than a million Americans without ability to pay bills on New Year's Day. Elected officials, including "Mr. Boner" of Ohio should lose their jobs and face an inability to pay bills like those who face that dilemma through no fault of their own. At least the elected officials will deserve their firing.

    December 2, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  11. Michael Hsu

    Beware! When democrats complain to dc about lack of jobs, that's a code word for more government spending (i.e., welfare programs).

    December 2, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  12. Dar

    Of course this is a failure, the Dems rushed the stimulas bill through for their new president as he asked them to. Now look, no new jobs, highest unemploment rate in years, ect ect ect, blah blah blah

    We asked them to think this through and not to rush rush rush, but no, we must push this through for our new president because he knows what we all need......................................Sure he knows!

    I can't beleive we voted in a community leader to run our once great nation, you dumb asses wanted change, well you and the ones who wanted a leader of change are now going to pay for it for a long time to come.

    Health care reform bill that Odumbo wants push through so badly is about to come to a stand still. Why, because even his own kind are starting to see what this dork is all about and it isn't good.

    Come on 2010/2012

    December 2, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. Hillary 2012

    Obama needs to get a clue. He isn't going to "create" any jobs. He needs to encourage those of us with a business to create jobs. That isn't done by taxing the living crap out of us and putting more financial burden on us or providing us with loans. It's called reduce taxes and encourage business growth. Obama and the Democrats policies are tax and spend and that is hurting business, we cannot afford any more employees. We are scared to commit to anything right now.

    December 2, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. phoenix86

    Wait a minute. Obama surrendered to the Taliban last night. He can't surrender more than once a week – or perhaps he can....

    December 2, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. Gary

    And what are yiou doing Congressman? Just because your name is Rush, doesn't mean you have to sound like a whiner. Get off your ass and help.

    December 2, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  16. Victor Hayes

    I guess that when every street corner in America had a Starbucks or McDonald's nobody cared about rebuilding the bridges and roads of this country. I am quite sure that all you hypocrites stuff enough "pork" into spending bills that even Thanksgiving holidays could quench your thirst. Instead of looking to Washington to solve your employments problems why don't you look at yourself you "career" politician.

    December 2, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  17. gt

    its jobs ,,,,,, dummies,, its jobs... i hope all you jerk are looking for them next elections

    December 2, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. Mike

    The best program anyone can be on is having a job. The best way to do that is to level the playing field. Every country on Earth wants access to our market so why don't we use that leverage to force up wages in other countries? That way our citizens could compete on a playing field that is more level. We own the marketplace. Why are we afraid to use that leverage?

    December 2, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. STAND AS ONE

    What are you guys doing in your own STATES to help the situation you all are complaining about? Don't you stupid DEMS sit there and try to threaten the President(who is in your own party), Have some RESPECT!
    HAVE SOME PATIENCE!!!!!!

    December 2, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. Enough

    Bailing out Unions isn't the answer. Obama knows nothing about real jobs and small businesses, He's a typical democrat that thinks business is evil and should be taxed out of the park. That won't create jobs, it will just send more over seas. Don't need a degree to figure that out.

    December 2, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. Baby Boomer

    Let's not forget there has never been any love lost between Bobby Rush and President Obama. While I agree the country's high unemployment is really bad (particularly with people of color.) but I don't believe Rush's motives are exactly pure.

    Talk to me when the leader of this "March" is someone without an ax to grind against the President.

    December 2, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. joz

    Jobs jobs jobs!!! The government can't create jobs. Just as they can't create a Utopia of pretty unicorns.

    December 2, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  23. Don

    Working citizens is against the most basic principlles of the democratic party. Working people do not need government assistance and without people needing the government they (all politcians ) would be unemployeed.

    December 2, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  24. Libralee

    Interesting! Even his own party is not happy with him!

    I'm sure ALL democrats can remember when Obama, during his campaign, stated there would be NO lobbyists in his White House!

    Go count them!

    December 2, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  25. Amazing

    Jobs! What jobs? They have not created any jobs, nor should they. Government created jobs are not job creation, if tax payers are paying for it, it isn't a job. Jobs can only be created by private sector, businesses small and large. Evil businesses that provide jobs, tax payers and pay taxes. You fools who think business is so terrible, who do you think pays your wages, if you work!

    December 2, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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